27 May 2013, Bentong. This is the first time that D2Y members actually visit an animal farm. We have come to realise that not only human beings and those around us need our help, but animals too. We would say that it’s an eyes-opening experience to all of us who had visited the farm and have seen with our own eyes, compared to hearing the daily stories about caged animals at the SPCA.

As early about 6.30am, the members had gathered at Buddhist Maha Vihara, KL to make our way to the long heard animal farm in Bentong, Pahang. The journey takes about 1 and a half hour from KL and we have been reminded to be there early because most of their farm chores have to be completed in the morning. Regrettably, we had only reached our destination at about 9am but nonetheless we were still very enthusiastic in helping them to complete what’s still needed to be done that morning.

When we arrived at our destination, we were greeted first by dogs, not just ONE dog, but a group of dogs which in normal circumstances, personally I would turn and run. Well, it did not take long before we discovered that they were friendly and the dogs guided us to the main compound of the farm where we were introduced to the person in charge of the farm, Miss Shahrul Anum Baharin and few of her co-workers.

Without further delay, we were being greeted and being asked on the various tasks which we could undertake that morning. Cleaning the cows and goats barns (clearing the dungs) are out of the questions as we were late . . . LoL . Nonetheless, the other few tasks being put forward are enough to stunned the fellow members who literally been to a farm for the first time, ie, cutting grass, cleaning the dogs’ houses, cleaning the tortoise pond area, feed the tortoise and ducks, etc. I can still remember the awkward faces of all the members who were so reluctant in getting their hands dirty despite that was originally stated in the trip description. After all, we are all “just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit, he took the midnight train…” Apart from our reluctance, we were also considered ‘underdressed-up’ for barn work.

Quick Tips for anyone going there to help:
– No Fancy Shoes, boot shoes are advised;
– THICK Gloves. Thin plastic / pharmacy gloves are good for nothing;
– Be prepared to get REALLY dirty;

After some quick chat, Shahrul had gave us the simplest job (haha), feed the tortoises! and cleaning up the pond area. Immediately, after getting the tortoise food which is basically vegetables, our small group started the cleaning work and feeding at the tortoise pond area upon the instructions from Shahrul. The members had divided among themselves the tasks to be completed at the pond areas, including feeding the tortoises by throwing the vegetables into the pond, sweeping the dry leaves on the floor surrounding the pond, etc.

Some of the members also had the opportunity of cleaning the dogs’ houses. There were a few dogs’ houses located separately from the main compound. According Shahrul, those dogs which stay at the separate dogs’ house were mainly dogs with abusive history from their owners and being abandoned. As a result, those dogs now have difficulties trusting people and choose to isolate themselves in their own dogs’ house despite the door was opened. It’s pity to see dogs, man’s best friend to be ill-treated by human themselves and abandoned just like that. Thanks to good people and animal activist like Shahrul and friends, those dogs at least have a home now.

Talking about dogs, there were also many dogs running around freely in the farm compound. They stay in the same house together with Shahrul and the workers. Given a rough count, there were approximate 30 dogs in the farm.

The members also had the opportunity to visit the ducks pond and feed the ducks before the Jork (pronounced as ‘York’) brought us to a small river that flows through the farm to have a quick dip of our legs. Jork also shared with us many interesting stories and his views on the animals and the dogs, in particular one that he commented when two dogs are fighting each other by the river, “We can always learn something from the dogs which behave similarly as the humans. Once a while they will fight each other, but later on they will become good friends again”.

Through out the short few hours visit at the farm, we managed to find out some information about the farm. QUICK FACTS:-

1. The farm is owned by a Datin, whereby Shahrul, Jork and a few friends are taking care of the farm.
2. There are ‘GuanYin’ statues in the farm, and the animals are Buddhist.
3. Every month, the farm gets RM2,000.00 only (not enough la) to maintain the farm with more than 30 dogs, many tortoises, cows, goats, cats, ducks and chickens.
4. The dogs are supposed to be vegetarian (vegetarian food, dog biscuits are not cheap).
5. The farm welcomes all the help and contribution in kinds, like cats and dogs biscuits/foods, Raw Apple Cider (as disinfectant/antiseptic), Dettol & Panadol & food & clothes for the workers.

The members had a good time at the farm and Shahrul and Jork are so friendly. We had lunch together before we went to Chamang Waterfall for a bath.

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